Illini In Top Three For Jake Bernstein

Jake Bernstein (Jack Lyman)

What a difference a few months make. In the spring, Jake Bernstein was concerned about getting any scholarship offers. After finally receiving one from Illinois, he has become popular with a number of college programs. Suddenly, he has a number of choices for his college future. But the Illini are still in his top three.

Crystal Lake South lineman Jake Bernstein performed at the Illinois Maine South camp even though he already had a scholarship offer from his state school.

"I wanted to learn more about Coach (Joe) Gilbert as a person and a coach. I wanted to get a feel for it. He really knows what he's talking about. I really loved his coaching."

Confident he will have a quality school to attend, Bernstein was unafraid of changing Illini coaches' minds. He continues to pick up offers.

"I just picked up an offer from Arizona. Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Colorado, Illinois, IU, Memphis, Vanderbilt, and Wyoming have also offered."

There was an article recently suggesting Bernstein favors Iowa, and he did attend their camp recently. But he says there is no truth to the rumors.

"I saw that article, but I didn't say any of that. I want to visit Iowa, it is one of my schools, but I want to go where my best opportunity is."

The article suggested a close relationship with Iowa tackle and high NFL draft pick Brian Bulaga would be a deciding factor. They know each other, but they are not that close according to Bernstein.

"Yeah, he's from the area. I knew him as a kid, so he stopped in one time. But that's all."

The 6'-4", 300 pounder is not discounting anyone at this point. In fact, he thinks highly of the Illini.

"Yes. It would give me good exposure. It has one of the best Kinesiology programs in the nation, so I'm looking hard into that aspect of it."

He also recently visited Vanderbilt and came away impressed both with their campus and academics.

"My decision will be based on academics. On my unofficials, I am setting up academic meetings. So we'll see what happens from there."

Bernstein demonstrated excellent line technique in the Illinois camp, and he was in top shape. There's a reason for that.

"That's all I ever do. We work out about four days a week at our high school. And then I work a lot on my agility."

While Bernstein looks to make his college decision, he will try to make some unofficial visits to get a better feel for his choices. The Illini are in his top three.

"I'll try to come back to Illinois for an unofficial."

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